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tv   The Sixties  CNN  May 29, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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>> stand by. >> the amount of watching television is five to six hours a day. >> there's a reason for calling it the boob tube and idiot box. >> let's change the channel. >> we want to rap about our scene. >> yeah. >> here is the news. >> we must give the american viewers the kind of tv they desire and deserve. >> let's try again and see what comes out this time. >> television has grown faster than a teenager. now it is time to grow up. ♪
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♪ ♪ >> the tv was the center of the house. i don't remember a time without
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tv. >> by 1960, essentially every household in america had a television. it was a new way of bringing the world to you. >> when something big happened on tv it really did impact the whole country at the same time. >> and awakened the eye on the world. >> suddenly, television was the main event. everything else changed. even the way in which you went about the business of getting somebody elected president. >> didn't have cameras. >> david, will you hit the one-minute button please. the 30 seconds and the cut, please. >> in 1960, the nixon/kennedy debate was the first in television. a lot of people were watching that night. and it introduced a lot of people to kennedy.
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>> hear me now speaking? is that about the right tone of voice? >> good evening, the television and radio stations of the united states and their affiliated stations are proud to provide. >> when the networks offered a debate, kennedy immediately said yes. because he was sure he could do better than nixon. >> i think mr. nixon is an effective leader of his party. i hope he would grant me the same. the question is, which point of view and which party do we want to lead the united states? >> mr. nixon, would you like to comment on that statement? >> i have no comment. >> if you're live on television and there's a camera right here, there's really in place to hide. once you see a guy sweating when asked the question are you sure he is a leader for you? >> that is the question before the american people and only you can decide what you want, what you want this country to be, what you want to do with the future. i think we're ready to move. >> if you saw it on television,
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clearly kennedy had won that debate. >> gentlemen, thank you very much for permitting us to present the next president of the united states on this unique program. >> it was the beginning of a new front of political craftsmanship. you could structure a message appropriately. you could have a huge impact. if you could not, you were toast. >> i would like to give a real welcome to the senator from massachusetts, mr. john kennedy. >> may i ask you so that i don't look too naive, a tough question off the bat? >> whether i'm a democrat or republican? >> people recognized television was now the medium that mattered. it was not before 1960. and it was every day after 1960 in those presidential debates. >> oh, honey, don't watch that. try to find a western. >> all right. >> once everyone had a tv set in
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their living room, and advertisers had fully gotten a grip on how this was a way to sell products the very definition of what you were doing was to create the entertainment that would appeal to as many people as possible. >> beaver, eat your brussel sprouts. >> i can't, my stomach is glued to my throat. >> now, no excuses. >> "leave it to beaver" was something that a lot of families understood. the first show that was shot from the perspective of a child. most people had a lot of experiences like the beaver and wally had, and everybody has an eddie haskell. good evening, mr. cleaver, some poor unfortunate child is trapped up there. >> everybody has that moment when they were so embarrassed and they thought they would never get over it. but they did. >> a special report. the scene of the 1961 emmys. >> whether it is a western or
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whether it is a drama. i think it is the quality of the show itself that is important. >> "the andy griffith show," mayberry, a kinder, gentler place, it would be hard not to want to live in mayberry. >> the core of "the andy griffith show" was this rock at the center of it. calm wisdom. >> i have taken the best parts of myself and people that i have known all of my life and put them into the tape. >> there comes a time when you have to stop the play acting and tell the truth. >> don't you believe me, pa? don't you, pa? >> people appreciated the emotional honesty and appreciate it more than laughs. it is great if you can achieve both simultaneously. and "the andy griffith show" did that very often. for a sitcom it showed
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unexpected depths. >> the second dance number should come before the big sketch. >> gee, i don't know. >> i like it. now i like it. >> i too do. >> i like it too. >> what do you know, look at that tie you're wearing. >> i only wrote what i knew about which was my life. if you're writing about that nobody can say that is not true. it is true. i'm living it. >> on the dick van dyke show we could believe the actions of the characters because we could relate to them. this was not a genie in a bikini in a bottle on someone's mantle. >> women are more, more -- >> honest and direct? >> no, they're more -- >> courageous? >> we all have the same needs and feelings and situations with husbands and wives. that was the common element. the problems of living. >> how much do you like that baby?
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>> oh, rob, don't tell me you're jealous already. >> the season opening episode for the 1963 season was seared in my head. >> my wife had a baby on the same day, the hospital was very busy, mr. peters. >> they thought they got the wrong baby from the hospital. so they calls the parents of the other kid and thinks you know, we may have your kid, you may have our kid. >> hi, we're mr. and mrs. peters. >> come in. >> mrs. peters, won't you come in? >> it was beautiful. absolutely beautiful. here they're tackling a subject without tackling it. >> why didn't you tell me on the phone. >> miss the expression on your face? >> the network worried about the
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fact that the african-americans might be upset by it. the network was always a little behind. there is always somebody back there who doesn't have b-a-double l-s balls. >> carl reiner, the winner, dick van dyke. >> i wish somebody had told me. i would have worn my hair. honestly, the off-season isn't i've got a lot to do. that's why i got my surface. it's great for watching game film and drawing up plays. it's got onenote, so i can stay on top of my to-do list, which has been absolutely absurd since the big game. with skype, it's just really easy to stay in touch with the kids i work with. alright, russell you are good to go!
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>> knock, knock. >> who is there? >> there was only three networks, there was only one late night show, really, jack parr -- >> we just keep talking with no script. >> i know, it is agony. >> jack parr invented the late night television talk show. >> you feel confident? there is not a man in the world that can beat me. i'm as good as liberace. >> jack had in his corner his personality. his fabulous, complex, frightening, neurotic, but in other cases, enthusiastic, informed personality. it made for great television. >> how much time have i done? >> i don't have a watch either. >> has it been charming?
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>> here's johnny! >> johnny carson inherited "the tonight show" but he made it his own. >> it is going to be wild tonight, i can always tell. >> he hosted a nightly party. >> are you married? >> oh. >> and if his buddies came, and they started playing together you felt like what it must have felt like to go to las vegas at 3:00 a.m. and have the rat pack come out. >> no, but where is the guy you talk to? >> it was a beautiful thing to watch a guy working at his best. >> okay. let's go. [ laughter ]
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>> if you watch it closely, he is gauging how much longer he can wait to let the laugh die before what he says will be irrelevant to what happened. and he gets it just on the nose. it is beautiful to watch. >> i didn't even know you were jewish! >> johnny was the best audience in the world. and he loved comedy. >> the woman is watching him from the corner of her eye and says to him what are you looking at? the guy says i'm looking at that ugly baby. that is a fair looking baby, lady. >> johnny was there listening for you. he wanted you to score. and when you scored, he scored.
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>> i said now calm down. he said madam, the pennsylvania railroad will go to any length to avoid having differences between the passengers. perhaps it would be more of a convenience if we rearranged your seating. and as a small compensation, if you come with me to the dining car, we'll give you a free meal. maybe we'll find a banana for your monkey. >> i'm dick cavitt, funnier than chet hutley, and as pure and honest as new jersey. >> you could get people like norman mailer and woody allen. >> my only new year's resolution there year, i think i'm going to try to sleep through the nixon administration. >> you have authors on there. heavyweight boxers. >> there were conversations. >> when you mentioned the national anthem and talk about playing it in any unorthodox
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way, you immediately get a percentage of hate mail. >> that is not unorthodox? it isn't unorthodox? >> no, no, i thought it was beautiful. there you go. >> i just thought anything that is interesting ought to have a place on a talk show rather than young pretty actresses who use the word exciting in their every sentence. >> you're not frequently seen on television. is that by choice? >> it is the most impressive medium. it is the medium that will either save america or send it down into demise, there is no question. >> i'm getting out of it myself. >> really? we'll be right back after this. >> what you do is book the best possible guests from different kinds of businesses, maybe not everybody in show businesses, some politics, some newspaper people. get them all on the stage together and hope something works. but it is a great show, a great platform from people who have something to say. >> the point is they take these
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scripts out of the drawers. they change these things away. maybe it doesn't work on green acres but that is why night after night you turn on these serials and they all seem they came out of the same bread box. >> back then you had copy cats. you had "the adams family" and then "the munsters," you have "bewitched." if one person is doing this fantastic hit we're going to do that. >> now, is that considered a crime? >> i'm afraid not. there are not laws to protect us against bad tv shows yet. so you're safe. >> well, thank you. >> what i'm surprised by are some of the shows i can't even imagine the pitch meetings for. like "hogans heros." >> it is a story about a nazi concentration camp, and a story about heroes. >> why don't they trust us? >> that shows you how weird the '60s was right there.
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>> there is another one of our fine shows this year. pit stop! moving story of an effeminate race car driver, who was really an astronaut for the mafia. >> 9:30 eastern time, 8:30 central time, quarter after 2:00 pacific time. this is kevin. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap.
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cbs presents this program in color. >> i didn't have color television until i was 16 years old. yes, i lived like an animal. >> the following program is being brought to you in living color on nbc. >> getting the color tv was huge because suddenly we could watch walt disney's wonderful world of color on sunday nights. which was just an acid trip of a show. we just could not believe it. tinker bell going bing, bing, bing, and it was like special effects, par excellence. >> it also happened just coincidently at the time when what we think of as the mod '60s came in, colors were all over the place just as tv could start to take advantage of them. >> hi. >> well, glad you could make it. >> i remember saying stay tuned
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for "gidget" next, in color. >> on color, on abc. >> it was a big marketing thing. >> color tv was a huge step forward as far as the technology went. and yet, i think of "lost in space." it started off as a black and white show and went to color. it didn't get any better when it went to color. >> dr. smith, you're alive. >> of course i'm alive. do i look like a corpse? >> this is an emergency, you're standing on my foot! >> "gilligan's island" made no sense, how was the professor able to build all of this stuff but not build a damn raft? it makes no sense if you pull any single thread on it but it was just the kind of show designed to live forever in
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syndication. >> who are you looking for? >> a nun, are you kidding? >> "flying nun" is a crazy show. like, what is that about? >> look, it is very simple. you see i only weigh 90 pounds and the combination of my cornet and the wind lifts me. >> which was just complete nonsense. it was the height of the '60s, and everybody was eating granola and dropping out and doing god knows what else, and i wasn't. >> hello, central? i'm switching to my eyeglasses. keep my shoe open. >> television more than ever in the '60s was a place to escape to. ♪ >> seemed like it was sort of
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almost a willful respite from the stuff that was going on in the world, from real life. >> here is a bulletin on cbs news. there has been an attempt as you know on the life of president kennedy. he was wounded. in an automobile driving -- >> in the early '60s, television was by and large seen as something as a back water to print journalism. and even to radio. but the kennedy assassination was the moment that television came of age. >> continue full-day coverage of the presidential funeral. >> more and more people were depending on television to give them the headline news of the day. >> 330 americans were killed in combat last week in vietnam. but the number of wounded, 3886 was the highest of any week in the war. >> >> it was in contrast to what you saw in entertainment, to what you saw on the news, was planetary. >> never has this descent been as emotional. as intense.
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>> in the '60s, it was one thing after another. each year it was filled with multiple events. >> governor wallace has ordered 500 alabama national guardsmen into tuscaloosa. under the moment they are under his control. >> whether it was the civil rights movement or it was the kennedy assassination or the space race, when there was a huge thing that happened, it happened on tv. >> the witness to the violence, seemed to be unprovoked on the part of the demonstrators. >> television became the fire in which the whole tribe gathered around to listen to the elders telling them what was going on. >> police reinforcements moving down the street now. [ chanting ] [ chanting "the whole world's watching" ]
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good evening, ladies and gentlemen, tonight, live from new york. >> from hollywood. >> from beautiful downtown burbank. >> here is the star of our show, bob hope!
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>> variety was the back bone of television back then. one year, there were like 18 different variety shows. everybody had a variety show. >> everybody was different because of who was filming the show. ♪ >> dean martin was just so loose he acted as though he was doing the whole show drunk without a rehearsal. >> this is a real international show, now, where else could you see a smooth italian and a slippery pole? >> he was funny, he was really, really funny. >> he always looked as if he was a bit lost.
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people thought that it was because he was tiddly. but that was part of the charm. >> here he is, ed sullivan! >> no matter who controlled the tv set on the other nights, on sunday night at 8:00, you were going to watch ed sullivan. >> ed sullivan was a phenomenon. he was a powerful force. >> the beauty of the sullivan kind of variety show is that if you didn't like something, something else would be around in four minutes. >> no, no, it is very difficult. >> advertisers wanted everybody. and so they got everybody. a little kid and his grandparents to watch the same show. >> they would have an elephant on, and then the next thing somebody doing shakespeare, and a comic, an acrobat, and an opera singer.
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which was true variety. >> anything that was current was on "the ed sullivan show." >> rodney dangerfield. >> everyone would say, did you watch "the ed sullivan show?" >> my whole life i don't get no respect, no respect from anyone. >> as a performer you couldn't get a better place to sell your product. >> when i started out they would say variety is a man's game. it's dean, milton berle, jackie gleason, but variety is what i know. i felt it was in my genes to do this.
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>> she had been so good on the garry moore show, she always knew she could sing and dance and be funny. >> on my show, i would do prat falls and jump out of windows and get pies in the face, and it was heaven. >> i think it is -- >> you know, i still see a rerun of carroll burnett show, and i say they're funny! there has never been a better sketch show ever. >> and the best in bed, too, remember? >> you never went to bed with -- >> well. >> not supposed to curtsy, you're supposed to bow. well, i get dizzy when i bend over. >> when tim conway came on his goal in life was to destroy harvey. >> here is harvey korman. we used to have a pool back stage, not as to whether harvey
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was going to break up, but how far along he would get on a sketch before he broke up. >> think of a needle. right. >> they never knew what he was going to do. but they knew it was not going to be what they expected. >> when they did the dentist sketch none of that was rehearsed. >> yeah, be right with you. >> poor harvey was helpless, tears coming down. and tim swears that harvey wet his pants during that sketch. >> i don't know why that worked so well. watching two actors break character and just crack each other up. should not be as entertaining. but somehow when it is tim conway and harvey korman doing it, i could just watch that stuff forever.
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>> we just thought we're going to go out there and do what we do best and it worked. >> you can plan it and write it and rehearse it. you hoped for magic. it was carol, carol, the magic of carol burnett. ugh. heartburn. did someone say burn? try alka seltzer reliefchews. they work just as fast and are proven to taste better than tums smoothies assorted fruit. mmm. amazing. yeah, i get that a lot. alka seltzer heartburn reliefchews. enjoy the relief.
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are you saying he is a tv addict? >> well, perhaps he has been staring at this electronic blessing, the tv set for so long that his life became his. and he is at a stage of confusion that he no longer knows whether or not he is watching the action or participating in it. you unlock this door with the key of imagination. beyond it is another dimension. >> there was desire on the part of writers and producers to push the envelope and stretch the medium. you certainly saw that with the twilight zone. it was a very cinematic show. >> this is not a new world, it has patterned itself since the beginning of time. >> rod serling who created "the twilight zone" realized he could tell stories about racism and fascism. >> tonight, i shall talk to you about glorious conformity. >> it was a way to deal with a lot of the issues that america was starting to go through at
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that time. but in a fantastic setting so that there is some divide between you and the show. >> they sent four people, a mother and father and two kids who looked just like humans. but they were not. >> "the twilight zone" had these little oh, henry like little twists and was allowed to have happy endings. >> they picked the most dangerous enemies they could find and it is themselves. now six months, "the fugitive," this is richard kimball with a new identity. beware the eyes of strangers, keep moving. >> everybody wanted to see what happened to "the fugitive".
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>> i'm about ready to give up. >> when it ended, it broke the viewership records set by the beatles on ed sullivan. it was one of the tv shows that actually went somewhere. >> you know, youngstown is not exactly on our course. >> they showed slices of the world people never saw before. "route 66" was an innovative show because it was actually filmed on location. so the audience was exposed to things that were not their exact orbit. >> space, the final frontier. >> you know, there is a little bit of the mayberry aspect to the world of star trek. follow me here. people want to believe that such a place can exist. the idea of a future in which a lot of the biases and the fears of the past has evolved out of us. >> where i come from, size, shape or color makes no difference.
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>> there is one episode where some of the members of the crew were taken over by these mental giants. >> this psychokinetic power of yours, how long have you had it? >> they forced captain kirk and the lieutenant to kiss. it was the first interracial kiss on television. >> nbc asked me if i would do that. i had always adored harry belafonte. we had already decided to do one called glory. it is an anti-war song and we just felt strongly about it. i just touched his arm. the sponsor went crazy. my star doesn't touch a black man's arm.
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>> petula clark said, i'm not doing it over, and it is my show and it is going out that way. >> we were not having any of that nonsense, no way. so it went out the way we wanted it to go out. i didn't really have any other problems with sponsors but that sort of gave me a taste of what could happen. ♪ ♪ >> in the tv business, the '60s was probably about the last decade during which the sponsors had a really iron grip on content. >> brought to you by dash. >> even if they tried to keep tv this white homogenous whole milk product, the world found its way in. it just had to. >> don't you every remember to bring a silencer.
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>> it ruins the liner in my suit. >> with "i spy," robert culp and bill cosby were equals. he made race a nonissue. because he is undenial. >> the winner is bill cosby. >> bobby and i tried to put forth an example of the way it should be, racially, in this country. we need more people in this industry to put forth that message and let it be known that the bigots and the racists, that they don't count. thank you. >> as television changed, it was helping all americans to understand that this is what america looks like. >> frankly, you're not exactly what i expected. >> no? >> no, not from what i read yet.
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>> did you expect me to be older or younger? >> julia was going to be the first time starring in her own television show. >> has mr. colton told you? >> told me what? >> i'm colored. >> what color? >> she was a black woman raising her own son. it was something new. >> and you keep out of mischief. >> i'll just watch the old tv. >> in the '60s, america was exploding in a way that needed to be reflected on tv. >> stand still! >> "dragnet" came back in the late '60s and friday was now in a very different world than he had been in in the black and white days. and somehow there were the dirty hippies. >> jack web would lecture about the dangers of marijuana smoking
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and crazy drug culture. >> they're trying to deal with the counter culture but they don't understand it. so it is basically the stereotypes of what the hippies were like. and it plays exactly like that. >> keep your nose out of my purse. >> keep yours out of the acid. next time i will. i missed you, too.ou. hi buddy. mom! awesome! dad!! i missed you. ♪ oh... daddy. chevrolet and its dealers proudly support military appreciation month. with the industry's best military purchase program, for all that have served. padvil pm gives you the healingu at nsleep you need, it. helping you fall asleep and stay asleep so your body can heal as you rest.
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move this country safely through the 1960s. >> there was tremendous anxiety and fear. >> 25 navy ships are on route to cuba on what may be a collision course. >> jfk said to his brother, what if there is a nuclear war and our children die. who is going to blink first. ♪ stop, children, what's that sound, everybody look what's going down ♪ >> whatever the president does, he risks nuclear war.
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nbc presents, rowan and martin's laugh in. >> our country would be much better off with a strong leader. >> i know but sinatra can't do everything. >> when laugh-in came along, we never seen anything that was kind of like grown-ups acting goofy and hip that way, you know. they had girls dancing in bikinis and the joke wall. >> who's in there with you? >> cool hand luke. >> and it was nothing but jokes. >> i was at the hospital. >> anything serious? >> a black widow bit me. >> if never would have happened if he'd been a gentleman. >> we took it to the network and the network said, what the hell is this. this makes no sense. i said, right. >> they acknowledged the hippie generation, yet the hosts were
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in tuxedos smoking cigarettes. they were still your parents. but other people let loose on the show were this kind of young vaudeville. >> hey. she socked it to herself. >> we knew that sock it to me didn't mean sock it to me. right? so we thought, oh. >> sock it to me. >> sock it to me. >> sock it to me. >> it wasn't on a subversive as it sounds. yes it was. no, it was fun. >> sock it to me? >> it was the first time presidential candidates ever appeared on a comedy show and that may have got him elected. and i've had to live with that. anyway -- >> the family that watched laugh-in together really needs to pray together. >> just happening right now,
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about right now, that was the greatest thing ever. the fusion of politics and comedy and everything else into one television show. >> when we take over, i'm going to look out for you. >> the subjects that were verboten, we don't talk about these things, were starting to come up in tv. because it was well executed, it changed everything. >> this is the smothers brothers comedy hour. take 1. >> good evening and welcome to the smothers brothers show. >> if rowan and martin and the smothers brothers are the new stars of tv comedy, it is the comedy itself rather than the comedians which is often in the spotlight. these two programs tried to influence people with the comedy and skit routines and subject matter often on the cutting edge of what is new. >> our government is asking us as good citizens to refrain from traveling to foreign lands. >> okay.
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all you guys in vietnam, come on home. >> times were changing so quickly. and the '60s. and we didn't change them. >> we just reflected them. >> what are you doing? >> getting ready to go to college. >> cbs gave the smothers brothers that show because they were clean-cut folk satirists. they wore blazers. they could sing well. they were funny. >> mom liked you best. >> you lower your voice. >> mom liked you best. >> they told us what they thought we could do and what we should do and it was totally wrong. tommy said, i would like to do what is relevant. i'll be the first to go, but until then with mr. mcnamera ♪ ♪ i'm just 18 and i always carry a purse ♪ >> if you were in counter culture started making these
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shows and they don't want to play by the rules that other people did before then but who would expect the smothers brothers of all people to be the ones raising this much of a fuss. >> good script. >> i would hold my breath every time they did the show. i knew the network people were befelling their trousers with fear. >> nothing funny in this. yeah, boys, we're through censoring your show. >> they said that the social subjects we touched on were not appropriate for the 9:00 family viewing hour. they came up with any excuse to make it difficult. >> and i came up with any excuse to push it. ♪ cbs would like to give us notice ♪ and some of you don't like the things we say ♪ ♪ but we're still here ♪ oh, yeah, we're still here >> they were going to speak truth to power. and they were not compromising. >> you have something important? >> something very important to
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say on american television. >> a lot of times we don't have the opportunity to say anything important because on american television, every time you try to say something important -- >> well, whether you can say it or not, keep trying to say it. that's what's important. you get that? >> there's no way in the world if anything is meaningful and truthful that you're not going to offend someone. you've got to be able to say what it is. say how it is. and take the consequence. >> cbs announced today that the smothers brothers comedy hour will not return to the cbs television network next season. network president robert woods said it became evident that brothers, quote, were unwilling to accept the criteria of taste established by cbs. cbs news efforts to reach the brothers for comment have been unsuccessful. >> i was angry. but we never regretted it.
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we never did regret it. >> what do you think television, honestly, do you think it's good? >> yes, i do. particularly for what it is. for the amount of hours that it gives you for enjoyment. either education or for pure entertainment, it's remarkably good. >> what television did in '60s was to show the american people to the american people. until then, we did not truly know much about each other. we knew only what we had seen, which was very little. and what we had read, which was even less. >> a few years ago i thought it was the end of the world. >> no, it's just the beginning. >> i think people looked at television for answers, maybe. that world is just confusing. maybe something on here will help. >> there was no denying the shift and attitudes towards sex, towards race relations, towards politics. it was all televised. >> that i will faithfully execute the office.
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>> when it works, television conveys impression and evokes memories. when it works well, television makes us feel. >> good morning. t minus 1:29:53 and counting. >> television created the sense of national unity around cultural events. >> good neil, we can see you coming down the ladder now. >> you can turn on the machine and be somewhere else. >> looking good. >> television changed absolutely everything. >> beautiful view. isn't that something? -- captions by vitac --
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